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Menghai Tea Factory (berylleb on ebay)

Recent Tasting Notes

90

A very pleasant smooth and mellow medium-heavy shu. When mrmopar gives a 100, one takes notice! So I bought a cake based on his and the other reviews. I liked it quite a bit, but maybe not quite as much as others. It goes down easy. I did not find much complexity in the flavor, but it is quite soothing.

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I’d like to thank Tea Explorer for sending me a generous sample of this one!!
6G + 4oz yixing (rinse) X 15sec/30sec…etc….

I started sipping on this hours ago, & am still enjoying it. This is one of those rich & deep Shu’s that remind me of Boston Brown bread. I’ve never ordered to from Berylleb, yet…

mrmopar

Good seller.

Terri HarpLady

I know! I keep reading your posts, & a few others, & I just need people to go buy more of my CDs from my webpage, so I’ll have more money in my Paypal account to spend! :)

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100

First a big thank you to mrmopar, whose tasting notes made me aware of this shu and whose guidance steered me to a reputable seller.

This is, without a doubt, the finest shu I have tasted to date. Rounded and full, powerful in the early steeps, but not overbearing and never bitter or astringent. Notes of leather, cedar, chicory, minerals, mushrooms, citrus and pepper make appearances in various combinations as the steeps progress, with each taking a turn at prominence yet never overshadowing the others. The aroma is refined and never funky. My notes show a range of earthy scents (clean damp earth, loamy earth, hints of peat, fresh rain, clean wet hay) with an underlying sweetness throughout. The liquor runs the gamut of reds, from nearly opaque through ruby, and will transition to a deep amber if you give it enough steeps.

It seems to benefit from adequate leaf quantity and fairly short steeps. Although I have not come up with a definitive Gong Fu regimen for this, I’m leaning towards a baseline of 6 grams per 100 ml (scaled up linearly to my pot size at 7.8 grams and 130 ml). I use 212 F water, give it a single 15 second rinse and a 2 minute pause to allow the leaves to begin to open up. My steeps run 15 / 6 / 8 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 seconds, with the first steep running a little long to allow the tea to finish opening up.

This is one shu I’ll buy more of to give a couple of cakes time to age. Absolutely stunning IMO.

Preparation
Boiling
boychik

Wow. I still didn’t have a chance to try. I need peace and quiet. Maybe after this weekend. I really enjoy the samples you send me and placed a small order from Puerhshop , just couldn’t wait;)

TeaExplorer

You should have enough for about 3 Gong Fu sessions in the sample I sent. This is a good shu for quiet contemplation. It does have a moderately high Qi that I start to feel around steep 4 or 5, so it may not be good late at night.

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92

Mellow and pleasant taste; nice aroma as it brews; dark red clear tea liquor; smooth and rich in flavor – this is a winning shou! The oaky sip delights the mouth and leaves a sweet aftertaste with a little pepper sensation on the tongue. I quite enjoy this now but I am very anxious to see how it develops after another year or two of aging.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
mrmopar

I am glad i am not the only one to get some pepper on this. I thought I was crazy and maybe too much Tabasco that night.

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98

Continuing with this one….
I’ve enjoyed this puer over the last four days. Each session relies upon the original 5g of tea for 3 steeps with 3-4oz of boiling water then each steep is dumped into a 12 oz travel mug to be enjoyed throughout the afternoon.

2nd day: Still sweet (but less so now); nice chestnut color.
3rd day: A certain amount of earthiness is now creeping in; no longer as rich and sweet.
4th day: Much lighter color even after 8 min steeps; mild yet pleasant woodsy flavor; enjoyable but not much left to give here.

I took the same leaves through 12 steeps and it held up quite well. I’ve been working off a sample and I think I have enough to do this again soon. As for the full cake, I think I’m going to age it for another year and let the deliciousness continue to grow. I’ll look forward to celebrating the beginning of 2015 with it. Highly recommend this Shou!

TeaExplorer

Mine has been enroute for a week. Waiting sucks, but I’m looking forward to comparing notes with others who have had this.

mrmopar

Its a good one for sure! TeaExplorer hope yours arrives soon. I think my last order has been in Chicago sort facility for 4 days now. I think it is the weather keeping it still.

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98

The history and culture of tea is one of many reasons why I pursue this passion. I love to find teas with a special story – enhancing the mystery and beauty of the tea. This is such a tea – a tea that I would love even without a story but the story makes it even more special (and for me, even more enjoyable).

This is one of four teas in Menghai Dayi’s Centennial Memorial set – two shous and two shengs. The one I have is the Jiangshan Meiren (An Empire and the Beauties) ripe cake. This tea commemorates the Soong sisters who one hundred years ago followed and assisted Sun Yat-sen and devoted themselves to the Chinese Revolution. In order to commemorate the Soong sisters, finely selected tea leaves from both the Bada and Bulang organic tea gardens of the Menghai Tea Factory were used.

I approached my first session with this tea with great excitement and high expectations. Of course, I feared that it might let me down since my expectations were so high. The color of the leaf is chestnut red with gold traces throughout -many tea buds are seen throughout the cake. The aroma of the dry leaf is very smooth, almost sweet. Two short five second rinses. Dark chestnut colored liquid with a pleasant smooth aroma.

This tea is lovely! The tea broth has a very rich and balanced taste. It most certainly does not disappoint. I’ll rate and write more after several additional sessions with this wonderful tea.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
mrmopar

You will have to share the information about the other three. I may just look to get the others also. I love to read about these things.

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100

This has just been added to Berrylleb king Tea on Ebay. Yay!

Bonnie

Happy New Year sugar!

Roughage

Happy New Year and time to add this one to my shopping list. :)

mrmopar

Happy New year to you too!

TeaExplorer

Happy new year! Thanks for asking Berrylleb to carry this. Order placed, now the waiting begins :)

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67

This arrived as a sample with my 2012 MGH 1214 Eco Big Tree Green Pu’erh Brick, which I will try to forget about for a few years. It’s not fungal like other shou puer. It’s very smooth, clean, refreshing, a subtle sweetness that’s comes with later steeps, and that fragrance of dried fruits (Chinese dates?) that I denotes its quality. Very comforting.

Preparation
1 min, 45 sec

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100

Well this is one of those “special” pu erhs that lives up to its reputation. This tea brews dark as in a heavy fermented tea and exhibits the characteristics of a much older shou. It has a touch of dryness with a hint of woodiness that is followed by a sweet caramel molasses note. it has a hint of a peach taste at the very end that really works in this tea. I was really afraid to try this one and give notes on it as I was afraid it would be further than my simple notes to elaborate on it. All in all, well worth the cost. multiple flavor notes and very reminiscent of some small ultra high grade teas offered by some sellers we have in the US. If I hadn’t known it was a big factory production I would have argued adamantly that this was a small production. It will get a top rating as this one has all the things I like in a shou. I am really glad I bought 2 of these.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec
Terri HarpLady

And where did you purchase it ?
:)

NofarS

Do tell

mrmopar Terri I got it sourced from a seller on Aliexpress. Here is a link to it http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/GRANDNESS-Revolution-of-1911-Anniversary-2011yr-Menghai-Dayi-RIPE-Pu-Erh-Tea-100-Genuine-Quality/215539_756620734.html. There are sellers that are cheaper than this but you have to watch as there are lots of fake Dayi products over there. Dayi is pretty consistent on the wrapping and tagging of their cakes. If you see one cheaper send me a link before you get it and I will hopefully know its real before you commit to purchasing it. The link is for a genuine cake.
Terri HarpLady

That’s because you are awesome! Of course, I’m not suppose to be buying any tea right now… :)

mrmopar

I wont tell if you get one! I had to sneak my last order in……

TeaExplorer

Can you confirm the link? When I click on it, the URL you show appears in the browser’s address bar for a brief second then I get redirected to a URL that is almost the same, except the “yr” is missing after “2011”. It’s possible the seller simply updated the page and created the redirect themselves, but I’d like to be sure before committing to buy. Thanks!

mrmopar

TeaExplorer, I just followed you also so we can message each other.

Rich

Hello folks,
mrmopar, I am tempted to purchase this based on your recommendation, and the other great reviews. I followed the link above and it looks like the cake is available. Can you confirm that this is the seller you’ve used? Looks like Grandness?

I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for all of your wonderful and detailed tea tasting notes! I find them helpful as I learn more about shu.

mrmopar

Rdeitz, I can’t take a whole lot of credit for anything. I am still learning and hope to always do so. Lots of people here helped me along when I first joined and I am trying to continue the tradition just with puerh! Just messaged you a link.

CelebriTEA

Sounds like a fabulous Pu erh :-)

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94

This tea has opened up in the compression of the cake since being in the pumidor. Dark apricot slightly burnt sugar taste almost to the point of being a tad bitter. Dark brew in the cup, juicy mouth-feel. Nice and warming to the body. A very nice tea to re-visit.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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83

This tea is dark on the first couple of brews, an aroma of an almost peat mos like. Leaves were dark all the way through in color. It had an almost raisin like taste with a good deal of sweetness with absolutely no bitterness or astringency. A well aged shu that the years have been kind to and mellowed out very much. Since this is what the factory produces a large amount of I am sure it is blended with a good variety of different leaf. This cake is sometimes called the “purple sky” cake and very nice in most of the different years I have had the recipe from. A very consistent cake from Menghai.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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82

I really can’t compete with *Bonnie*’s previous review so I won’t try. I also got this from mrmopar in a tea swap with a few other pu`erhs and msut admit i’m starting to like the stuff. Brewed in gaiwan with rinse 20/10/20/30/etc. infusions until was pu`ewy no more.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 30 sec
mrmopar

Glad you liked it. You will find that the older this gets the better it is. I have some from 2006 that is really good!

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73

Today’s tea was this 0532 that I was gifted by The Nameless Steepster. Thank you.

It’s a dark brown mass of leaves in a bag. I forgot to sniff the leaves. Shame on me. My excuse is that I seem to be braindead today. Too much delivering flowers for my wife this morning, methinks. Fortunately, despite the lack of notes on the dry leaf, and my complete inability to type two letters correctly in a row, I am able to get the rest of this down on in 0s and 1s for you to read.

Anyway, the aroma from the wet leaf is a sort of earthy leaf mulch aroma. Quite pleasant really. Not to self: don’t stick nose so close to hot teapot. Ouch! Upon tasting the tea, I am struck by how smooth this tea is. It is really smooth, like they tell you beer is but the beer is never really that smooth. The taste is mineral and earth and the liquor is quite thick, giving the tea a healthy body. There is something else going on as well, a taste I recognise that I cannot put a name too. Perhaps something herby but I really am not sure about that one. Whatever it is, it is really quite pleasant. I like this tea and would be interested to try it again in a couple of years once it has had a chance to age a bit.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec
Bonnie

I remember this one. I enjoyed it a great deal and it took me to the redwood forest and into the scent of sage and herbs then the taste of quince. I can’t imagine what the future aging will do for this puer. Ah, you have to have good water for smooth beer…come to my town. Find some New Belgium Brewery Beer.

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77

Thank you to a Steepsterite who wishes to remain nameless. Said person has done me a good turn by sending this tea to me.

So, I spent most of today trying to persuade my new router/modem to talk to my laptop via the wireless connection. Needless to say I got somewhat frazzled as well as being irked that the wireless speed was registering at less than one tenth of the wired speed. Clearly the issue was to do with my laptop (a venerable old soldier, if ever I saw one) and the young whippersnapper that is the new router. I suspect the router made a disparaging comment about old people, or something like that, and the laptop rapped the router on the shins with its stick. Then they both sulked. Anyway, it is sorted now, and I rewarded myself with a pot of tea. I think I deserved it!

I used a 170ml Yixing pot to brew this tea and put 8g of tea in the pot. Then I rinsed it for a few seconds to clear it out and wake it up. The rinse was rich and dark already so I steeped it for 10 seconds in the first instance. The liquor was still very dark. It tasted earthy, slightly metallic, but with a hint of cinnamon behind those other flavours. I found it to be smooth and light overall. The mouthfeel was silky and much less full than most teas I drink, but that made this a particularly easy tea to drink. Given how the tea is lasting (Steep 8 and still going strong) that is probably a good thing because I shall be drinking it for the rest of the evening. I shall certainly not complain about that!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 15 sec

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75

mrmopar kindly sent me some samples of his pu. Thank you.

I decided to try this one first because I loved the name. Golden peacock brings to mind the faded grandeur of a royal court. I wondered if it would bring that grandeur to my faded kitchen.

The dry tea smells earthy with a slight fishiness that I expected of a shu. It arrived as a chunk from a beeng so I picked it apart carefully. The leaves seemed quite loose and easy to pick apart. They were smallish with a couple of golden ones in among the brown.

Brewing the tea up, the first wash smells of that same earthiness and the liquor is bright red. I threw the wash and brewed properly. Still the same dark red liquor but the earthy aroma has gone and it is replaced by something sweeter that I cannot quite describe. Tasting the tea, it was initially too hot to pick out any real flavour. It was mellow and rich. As it cooled I was stunned by the sudden emergence of a flavour that took me back to my childhood and the sweet shop near the bus station. I used to regularly by a quarter of boiled sweets from there on my way home. The tea reminded me of Cola Cubes. Not the sugary sweetness but certainly the flavours at the back of that. Then, as it cooled more I thought I detected a note of sherbet pips. And that was just the first steeping.

Repeat steepings have shown that I was not imagining it. This shu is earthy and mellow with the sweetness of cola and sherbet at the back of it. I am now on steeping number 6 and feeling like my eyeballs are swimming, despite the small size of my pot. The tea is still going strong. Ah well, it has been great reaching this point and I can see how it fares later after a rest. This tea is a really nice example of a shu that I could drink a lot of. It lacks the fishiness of some shu and has a mellow sweetness that works greatly in its favour.

Preparation
Boiling 0 min, 15 sec
Bonnie

I loved the candy shop description. Nobody has used that but you so far. Mrmopar will like that one too!

mrmopar

yep candy shop a good one!

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89

Thank you mrmopar for this most silky Puerh!

Yesterday there was a long grey cloud parallel to the foothills by my house.

The cloud didn’t move.

When I walked from my car to the house I looked up at the texture and thickness of the huge monster and recognized it as a Lenticular cloud that you see at high altitude and was formed by moist air blowing over the Rocky Mountains. Constant light winds were keeping it in place, still and waiting.

I knew what was going to happen at sunset. I had seen from a greater distance a cloud monster like this one at Lake Tahoe. But this cloud was right over my head!

I went into the house, got my camera and checked how my buddies on Steepster were doing, when I noticed that my room was suddenly lit with golden light.
The cloud was illuminated by the setting sun which lit up my room!

I ran out the door with my keys and camera, took 3 shots over the complex and drove a block away to the entry of the Equine Center so that I could take my sky shots without buildings or cars.

I sat in the dirt and had the best time shooting a sky that was an ocean of gold, purple, pink and fire red. The color was so bright from ice crystals that the ground reflected a rose tint.
http://flic.kr/p/dkfUHv
http://flic.kr/p/dkfT6d
(I hope these pictures show up because I’ve been having trouble with flickr/yahoo.)

Sitting on the ground with the colors of Autumn thick and textured stretched across the sky, it was as if one enormous wing of an Angel was shielding me in an ethereal glow.

I can understand why the shephard David sat on a hillside writing songs of thanksgiving. I want to write Psalms after seeing or experiencing beauty.

The experience of last evening was so awe-inspiring, that I had no question about what kind of tea I wanted to drink this morning.
I picked Puerh.

Puerh always binds me to the appreciation of nature. I get all mushy sometimes about how much I love the rich and earthy thickness of it.
This Puerh I picked out of my to-be-reviewed stash at random.
I couldn’t find any information about it so the opinions are entirely my own.

My usual method is: A 30 second rinse followed by 3 steepings all at 30 seconds. The 4th steeping was increased to 3 minutes (pushing the envelope).

The wet leaves had a remarkable vanilla bean scent. I was surprised!
The liquor began as honey brown, deepening to rootbeer color with later infusions.

The first tasting was mild, lightly sweet and very light cedar. It was hard to tell that this was a Puerh for the lack of earthiness.
I expected the flavor to develop as the leaves opened though. The second steeping was the same as the first.

By the third steeping, I wondered what to do. Not a thing had changed from steeping 1,2,3.
I checked the leaves which HAD opened enough to produce some darkening as the steeping’s progressed.
Should I just drink this as I would a tea that wasn’t a Puerh? Add some sweetening?

I sweetening it a little and it was smooth and light but a bit boring to me.

I decided to increase the time to 3 minutes on the 4th steeping.

Now this was clearly a darker liquor, very smooth tasting, silky and mild. The only change from previous steeping’s was a little cedar bite on the tongue that quickly disappeared as the tea cooled.

This wasn’t a review of the earthy Shu Puerh’s I’m used to… quite the opposite. Don’t get me wrong though, this is a fine enough Puerh for people who DON’T like the earthy, stronger Puerh’s.

For anyone who is fearful and wants to try these exquisite tea’s this may be exactly the rare, golden beauty you’ve been looking for.

Claire

Those are breathtaking photos Bonnie! I love reading your reviews.

Rellybob

Very nice photos!

Ysaurella

Colorado seems so beautiful ! I should have come here instead of NY the only time I came in the US.

K S

Amazing! Thanks for sharing these.

fleurdelily

that is a stunning photograph… flat-out gorgeous

Rebecca Lynn

WOW. That might be motivation enough to go to Colorado. Also, the word nubs is very funny.

mrmopar

i got 6 infusions from this one. i think thats a record for me. glad you enjoyed it. love and blessings your way! keep up the great tasting notes( i will work to make mine better).

mrmopar

rebecca the nubs are the clumps left over when they ferment the pu-erh that they cannot separate to press into the traditional beeng cha or round cake. they separate them out and press them into bricks. the bonus is it will contain these nubs from several different years so you are sure to get some well aged peices in there as well. it is a great way,like bonnie posted to try pu-erh. the off odor and taste of the newer shu is almost gone in these bricks.

Bonnie

No wonder it was so mild mrmopar. Really mellow!!!

mrmopar

bonnie let me know when you run low. a little of this stuff goes a long way and i have 2 cakes of it.

Indigobloom

gorgeous pics Bonnie!! I love looking at clouds, they remind me of hope :)

Bonnie

I’m glad I live a block from open space so that if the sky changes or clouds form I don’t have to have buildings or cars getting in the way of taking a wide vista shot. Keeps me out of trouble.

I ♥ NewYorkCiTEA

those photos are lovely, Bonnie

Bonnie

Thanks chrine!

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Drank the last of my samples from the wonderful Mr. Mopar today. I think raw pu’erh isn’t really my thing. This tea was good but didn’t get me excited to keep drinking it. This tea made a gold-yellow brew with citrus and grape skin flavors that reminded me of a Darjeeling tea.

This had some very large leaves in it, one of them really massive! I felt I had to take a picture of it (with my junky phone camera) which kind of looks like I used instagram filters or something, but that’s just how the pictures on my phone come out haha I drew in the rest, since this this monster of a leaf was only part of it, and the picture quality is pretty bad.

http://i1075.photobucket.com/albums/w433/thomascperez/-1_zpscb4852dc.jpg

My phone had Instagram before it was cool! lol :P

mrmopar

guess you are a shu pu lover too. i can’t do much of the sheng yet.

Bonnie

I like your instagram! I’m with you. Lovin Shu! Here I go…
There was an old lady who lived in a SHU! She had so much Puerh she didn’t know what to DO! (naw that last part is mrmopar not me)

mrmopar

bonnie you are great and crazy! thats why we love you because you are almost as crazy as me!!!

tperez

Haha, love you guys

Bonnie

I just noticed that you want to be a VET. Well, guess where there’s an AWESOME vet school (I mean really awesome), right down the street at Colorado State University! The Horse Research Facility is a block from my house, there are vet students EVERYWHERE! Cool place to be. Hope you consider this school and the tea scene is good too. (Love this town!)

tperez

I’ve heard CSU is a good school, I’d definitely love to go there! Sounds like a great place to be. It’d be nice to have a place like Happy Lucky’s to stop by and get some tea :)

I’m kinda doing some soul searching right now; I’ve always thought I wanted to be a doctor/vet, but but lately I’ve been more and more discouraged by the competitiveness of even getting into vet school… I’ve also always loved music, but been afraid to go into it as a career, and I’ve developed a minor obsession with history… I guess I’ve realized that theres risk and hardship no matter what I end up doing, which kind of scares me. So for now I’m just trying to do my best and figure out where I want to go in life :)

Bonnie

Things do/will change. I was a PE major, then Special Ed. I went to Computer school and was a Systems Analyst, I ran a Call Center for Business Telecom (Apple, HP, Stanford etc.), worked at a Winery, Coached High School Track, was a ComputerTtech off and on. Programmed Central Office Telecom Switches. Point being, in a lifetime, you never know what you’ll end up doing. In my 30+ years I’ve had many adventures. I began in my teens working with disadvantaged children, then after High School I was active in the Civil Rights Movement of the 60’s-70’s.
I put myself through College. No one ever paid my way with loans or any kind of help.
Whatever you choose to study will be of value even if you change course many times. This is where you make your best guess, try to do what you love and take that leap of faith.

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94

Called ’’Clouds’’ another great Menghai dayi. Very rich notes no taste of bitterness or the strong licorice taste of a young shu. Tried a lesser tea, tossed it and picked this one off the shelf. Much better now I am a happy camper! Hints of oak and chocolate smooth and mellow as a great pu should be. a great way to end the night.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 0 min, 30 sec

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I had a little leaf left! I made about eight steeps and shared a peaceful evening of gong fu tea service with hubby by candlelight.

I love how this puerh starts to coat your mouth with a cedar-like oil starting around the fourth steep. It just keeps going and going as you steep. I think it was noticeably paler around the eighth steep. This is a lovely puerh, sweet and smooth.

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